Coach says it's not about where you start but where you finish

by: JOHN BREWINGTON - Scappoose Coach Kevin Buse directs traffic for a drill during practice last week at Scappoose High. The Tribe hosts St. Helens Thursday.New girls basketball coach Kevin Buse has settled into a new home in Scappoose and is now settling into a practice routine with the Tribe team.

Buse is pleased with the talent he has out this season and thinks the Cowapa League will be evenly matched this year.

The Scappoose girls just missed the playoffs last season, but Buse thinks they should be in reach this year.

“Several girls that played last year are on the bubble this year,” Buse said. “We have a solid corps of basket players. They are really athletic.”

Some 27 turned out this season, but those numbers have cut themselves back to 24. The team lost four players to graduation last year, and three other varsity players will not be on the team. There are five players who saw varsity action returning, and the remaining eight are moving up from the jayvees.

“We have eight juniors,” Buse said. “It's going to be a very, very, good solid team.”

The team will have just two seniors, and three sophomores.

Five returning players with varsity experience include: Abby Kessi (5-feet, 10-inches, jr.); Brittany Catlow (5-10, jr.); Cassidy Hoglund, (5-6, sr.); Lacey Updike (5-5, jr.); Kendall Kierleber (5-2, sr.). Kessi and Catlow are forwards, while the others are listed as guards.

Buse said he is trying to prepare the Lady Indians to handle just about anything this season—zones, quick transitions, and how to attack the basket.

“I'm sure the teams in the league that were good last year are going to be good again this year. I expect all of the teams to be competitive top to bottom. Whoever can put it together by the end of the year is going to be successful,” Buse said.

The Tribe's team goal is to be among the top three teams in the league and be in the playoffs. The coach said it helps the team outlook to have players from soccer and volleyball in the fall just coming off making the playoffs.

“It definitely helps out to have the mindset that we can make the playoffs,” Buse added.

This year's team will not have anyone listed at the post position, just guards and forwards. Still Scappoose has some fair height for the 4A ranks with two players 5-11 and two at 5-10. The tallest, Haley Wight and Bella Sykes, both saw some varsity action. Abby Kessi was a starter last season and Brittany Catlow also saw considerable action.

With a new coach and a new system, it will take Scappoose awhile to transition into the scheme this system.

“There will be some bumps in the road and we'll struggle at times, but we want to progress and get better every day. I think we'll be as ready as we can with two weeks of practice,” Buse said. “It's not about where you start but where you finish (that counts).”

He said the team has a lot of the core system down, and some are picking up the new system better than others. He said the team's athleticism and defense will help balance that out.

The Lady Indians kick off their season Thursday at St. Helens with a 7 p.m. game. They follow that on Dec. 4 with a game at Molalla. The team then has two home games, facing Estacada on Friday, Dec. 7 and Roosevelt on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Buse just moved his family to Scappoose. He’s working in Portland and finishing up his masters degree so he can go into teaching. He and his wife have five kids: a month-old newborn; a 2 ½ year old, twin girls, age 4, and a son, age 7.

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